Skimming through 2009 eBooks

(image courtesy of petitinvention) Welcome to the final State of the eBook for 2009! It has been a big year for eBooks, and I am going to do my best to cover a timeline of the high points, as well as a few things to look forward to in 2010. Rather than do a traditional timeline of events, I thought I’d break it down by the year in highlights per company/platform, and then a few predictions and news items to look forward to in 2010!

Stephen Covey Strikes an Exclusive eBook Deal: What Does This Mean for Authors and Royalties?

Stephen Covey is proving one of the habits of highly successful people is playing hardball; he’s struck a deal with Amazon to make them the exclusive providers of his eBooks, in exchange for at least 50% of the sales revenue. Amazon will also be promoting his books heavily. What does this mean for publishers, authors, and the concept of royalties in the digital age? We convened a Gear Diary chat session to hash it all out!

What’s in a Name?

(image courtesy fromoldbooks) Welcome to another State of the eBook! To start off, the big news this week was publishers plotting to make eBooks second-class citizens by delaying their release. You can read all about it here. It isn’t pretty and it is time to let publishers know how we feel! Then there is the other big news… It’s NOOK WEEK!

Nooks, Kindles, eBooks, and Pirates, Oh My!

Welcome to another State of the eBook! First and foremost, a nook update: As Dan reported yesterday, Spring Design has been denied an injunction that sought to prevent B&N from selling Nooks! This is good news and will hopefully stimulate Nook availability. Teleread argues that if Barnes and Noble doesn’t get nooks out to stores, the backlash could undo all the goodwill and positive word of mouth they’ve built so far.

Year of the eBook?

Yes, it is that time of the week again. State of the eBook is back to bring you the latest eBook news and commentary, just in time for Black Friday and the holiday shopping season.

The Brave New Digital World: An Interview with K.C. Blake

Welcome to another State of the eBook! This week we’re bringing in an expert to share some thoughts on eBooks, music, and movies, and where the future is taking digital media. Read on for Gear Diary’s interview with K.C. Blake of the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California.

Amazon Kindle for PC Review

(courtesy of Just a few short weeks ago Amazon announced the Kindle was coming to PCs, and today it landed! Windows-only for now, with Mac OS X support promised “shortly”, Kindle for PC represents Amazon’s first attempt to strike back against Barnes and Noble’s eBook expansion. Does it succeed? I’ve been playing with it all day, read on for my review and thoughts!

The Dark Side of eBook Popularity?

Welcome to another “State of the eBook”. We’ve got some quick news to review, and then a discussion of something that keeps publishers up at night; piracy in ebook-land. Is it an epidemic of music proportions or is it the straw-man argument that publishers use to justify high prices, digital rights management, and slow ebook adoption?

eBook Gains and Losses

Welcome to another installment of “State of the eBook”. A few quick news-y items, and then onto the major heart of today’s discussion, where we’ll be tackling the greatest debate in the book world today. Interested? Read on… First, in the “cut up your nose to spite your face” department, we have the news that both Sarah Palin’s book “Rogue” and Ted Kennedy’s book “True Compass” will not be released as eBooks until some time has passed after the hardcover release. Let’s consider that for a moment. At a time when people are looking for better deals, trying to find…

An eBook Introduction

Welcome to a new series we are starting here at Gear Diary called “State of the eBook”. Every two weeks or so (more if the news warrants it) I’ll be bringing you the latest news in ebooks, publishing, and the general digitization of our reading lives.

Amazon crediting 1984 book buyers $30

Amazon is sending an email to Kindle owners who were impacted by their mid-July erasure of the book 1984 from Kindle devices. Apparently the book, which had been uploaded by a third party publisher through a self-service area of the Kindle site, had copyright issues and even though Amazon briefly allowed the book to be downloaded they quickly cut off sales of the book. Then, in a move that angered Kindle owners and eBook fans everywhere, they electronically erased it from all Kindles. Now Amazon is notifying those affected that they’re sorry – and you can have your book back…

Thanks For The Apology Mr. Bezos… Still… You’ve Been Served

Kindle-gate exploded when Amazon remotely removed a number of books by George Orwell. At the time  I wondered what would happen to any notes taken on those various books if such a thing were to happen again. And although Jeff Bezos apologized for the action and promised to do better in the future, the question remained. Well now we have an answer. A student was taking notes for an AP class and found that his notes remained. No problem right? Nope, big problem. It seems the pages referenced were left useless once the book was gone hence the notes themselves…

These cases might put some lumberjacks out of work

JAVOedge recently released a new line of cases for the Amazon Kindle 2. These cases, called Hardwood Sleeves, are eco-friendly sleeve style cases made to protect your Kindle when you’re not reading. The cases, which are made to look like hardwood, come in two styles, Oak or Ash. JAVOedge was kind enough to send along both styles for me to review.

Credit Where Credit Is Due- Bravo Mr Bezos

I still have questions about the various DRM restrictions and policies on books bought through Amazon for the Kindle. But with regard to the most recent issue, when Amazon remotely removed books from people’s Kindles… today we all received a direct, un-compromised apology from CEO Jeff Bezos. When was the last time you saw a CEO apologize without making excuses, sidestepping or softening the blow? A CEO taking full responsibility for a mistake… Now THAT’S refreshing. Bravo Mr. Bezos!

KindleGate Blows Up In Amazon’s Face

UPDATE: The following update appeared on David Pogue’s Times column. EDITOR’S NOTE | 8:41 p.m. The Times published an article explaining that the Orwell books were unauthorized editions that Amazon removed from its Kindle store. However, Amazon said it would not automatically remove purchased copies of Kindle books if a similar situation arose in the future. My Note- It doesn’t change the core issues here! Just a few weeks ago I posted on a series of encounters I had with Amazon and their customer service. The first post raised questions about DRM. The second clarified some of the initial misinformation…

DecalGirl Dressed Up My Kindle DX

When we did the Kindle2 review, one of the few things that Dan, Doug and Kerry griped about was the device’s pasty white front. I didn’t really mind the slightly off-white color, but when I purchased the Kindle DX I decided it needed a bit of personalization. Since I don’t yet have a case for the oversized ereader, I thought it would be fun to give it dash of protective color; I purchased a DecalGirl skin.

An Open Letter To Amazon’s Jeff Bezos

The following email was sent directly to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. Dear Mr Bezos, My name is Dan Cohen and I am an editor for the tech website I am also a proud Kindle owner. In fact, many of us on the site’s staff have, and love, our Kindles. I’m writing to you regarding an experience I have had over the past few days that clearly struck a cord with readers and Kindle owners worldwide. It began last Friday when I got a new iPhone and iPod touch and was unable to load some of my kindle books on them….